Clanking chain, the claw that snags, the boat wind-bumped beside the Bat Islands I heard as bad, chop-tossed in my bunk all night I didn’t sleep lost in fear forged from everything I didn’t know and don’t, hear anchor and think anvil heavy under hammer and spark. Say spark and I hear fat rain hissing as it hits cement, ozone crackling into my lungs, say breath and I hear doves, demure in their distant repetitions, telling again how when the rain stopped, the earth’s skin of water pulled the tides back to the moon’s usual bidding. In the ark of my skin, I suspect the warnings are not in the sky, not in the flight nor voices of birds, but under my feet or tucked in the chest of drawers swollen stuck by forecasts for damp weather, old panic stowed in my land-lubbing bungalow brain where chance comes knocking like the Fuller Brush man, his black satchel of answers in hand and I don’t open the door, where on a good day, my bad leg an anchor dragging, I’ll say yes, keep me here in this life.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This poem was selected from entries submitted to our Creative Challenge Series #29: Word Salad, which required that the words bolded in the text must be included. Read other Creative Challenge winners. To find out how to participate, go to Creative Challenges.